KARACHI: Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair on Monday said that there was an urgent need to protect women and utilise their capabilities in a more effective manner. He said this while addressing the 9th Anniversary of the Ladies Fund Women’s Awards for Pakistan 2017 at Governor’s House. The event was organised by Dawood Global Foundation (DGF) and featured some of the most eminent women in Pakistan. State Bank of Pakistan Governor Ashraf Wathra was also present on the occasion. Lifetime Achievement Winner was Seema Aziz, the managing director of Sefam Pvt. Ltd. the largest fashion retailer, employing 13,000 employees, and also founder of CARE Foundation, one of the largest non-governmental organization of Pakistan having a vast network of 234 schools and educating over 160,000 children. Zubair said that a woman has many roles, she is a wife, mother, sister and daughter. Islam has also praised and highlighted the contributions of a woman in overall development of the society and as a custodian of a household, he opined The role being played by women in the collective economic development of any country was of immense importance, he observed. He said it’s the duty of every sitting government to ensure maximum opportunities to women in their field of choosing so they can express their talent and abilities in a conducive atmosphere. The government was aware of its obligations towards women and special attention was attached to provide a level playing field to more than half the population, he added. While lauding the globally recognized award-winning Educate a Girl initiative of DGF, Zubair said, “It Is the need of the hour to educate and encourage our female population to enter and stay in the work force.” He said that tolerance was the key for progress of any nation and country and if women are working they could ensure there is greater tolerance and respect in the society, as well as be economically strong. He also commended distribution of awards among the most talented and prominent ladies in various fields. Addressing the gathering, Wathra said that State Bank would continue its cooperation for encouraging women entrepreneurs. DGF President Tara Uzra Dawood highlighted various initiatives of her organisation. She also pledged to continue holding such events to encourage and promote women doing wonders in various fields. She thanked the Sindh Governor for taking keen interest in the event and for hosting the event. Winners at the event included Fareeda Tariq of Peshawar (Woman of the Year), Highest-tax paying salon owner Nabila Maqsood (Momentum), co-Founder of the Eat Festival Sara Chhapra (Trailblazer), Gul Nazar from Kalash (Idol), Sindh’s first female pilot Dr Tarana Saleem (Pioneer), saver of stray animals Ayesha Chundrigar (Angel), Sister Ruth Lewis of Durul Sukun (Angel), and the courage awards were given out posthumously to the first female journalist Naushaba Burney and the activist lawyer Hamida Khuhro. Commendations were also won by Huma Adnan (Fashion), Tena Durrani (Fashion), Iman Ahmed (Fashion), Joshinder Chaggar (Dance), Fatima Munir (Art), Madiha Hyder (Art) and Seema Nusra (Art). International Travel Fellowships were present to Rija Khan (UK), Sonia Kumari (Germany) and Rabeeya Hafeez (Turkey), Iqra Bachelors scholarships to Maica Mary (MBA) and renewed by Yusra Tufail, Marium Hashmi and Maria Javed. Educate a Girl vocational scholarships celebrated their completion of the education of 1,000 deserving girls in Karachi as well as the incubation of the programme by Facebook’s charity internet.org and its Free Basics programme. Tara Dawood said Ladies Fund was established in 2007 as an initiative to provide financial security to women and to promote and train women entrepreneurs. It aims to integrate the entrepreneurial needs based on the economic and social aspects. She said that 150 local and international partners are working with DGF and her main goal for 2017 is to complete education of 1,000 deserving girls in both Pakistan and Africa. Ladies Fund’s Advisory Council consists of Sultana Siddiqui, Amir Adnan, Abdul Kader Jaffer, Byram Avari, Dr Ishrat Husain, Nasreen Jalil, Ghalib Nishtar, Khalid Mirza, and Khush Bakht Shujaat.